Auto Trader is launching a new virtual forecourt on its website to help dealers enhance their digital presence.
Known as ‘Retailer Stores’, the new function will enable dealers to fully customise their ‘virtual storefronts’ by displaying details about their business, including available stock, reviews, Covid-19 safety features and online retail services.
Auto Trader says the platform is designed to make it easier for businesses “to build trust and confidence in their brand”, which according to nine out of 10 buyers, is essential when choosing their next car.
Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, said: “We designed and created this new functionality in response to requests from our retailer partners who wanted help in driving engagement in their brand and stock.
“We know car buyers shop car first, with 99% starting their search not knowing which retailer they want to buy from. This new fully customisable digital forecourt experience will help retailers stand out from their competitors, and ultimately help turn searches into sales by enabling them to attract, engage and convert buyers from amongst the millions of consumers who visit our marketplace every day.”
Awards and accolades, including the Auto Trader Retailer Awards and AM Awards will be featured prominently with their respective logos and, from the spring, industry accreditation including manufacturer approved schemes and other approved associations will also be added.
In addition to being highly visible across Auto Trader, Retailer Stores will boast strong SEO equity which means consumers looking for retailers on search engines will see the respective digital forecourts at the top of their search results.
Upon going live in February, Auto Trader will automatically populate some key details, including the business name, logo, contact options, and reviews, as well as advertised and un-advertised stock. Retailers can add further information to create their own personalised storefront, including an ‘about us’ profile, YouTube videos and imagery, opening hours, key business highlights, ‘why buy from us’ details, customised featured stock, available services and facilities, as well as highlighting their latest five-star reviews.